June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.731.1 - 12.731.11
Faculty-Friendly Assessment System for Biomedical Engineering Programs Abstract
Many engineering programs have limited resources to create and operate an assessment system. Paramount to the success of a system is the system’s ability to engage faculty without being an undue burden so that the faculty remains compliant and the system yields useful information. The assessment system design needs to ensure that: assessment data are collected consistently by the faculty, the faculty is involved in the analysis of these data, and any changes made in response to the data are implemented by the faculty.
At Western New England College, a program outcome assessment system has been designed to maximize faculty buy-in and participation by carefully defining the faculty interaction with the system. Most of the quantitative outcome data are delivered to the system from specific courses within the curriculum. The instructor of a course needs to be concerned with predefined outcome measures and deliver data to support that measure. This works well because instructors are centered on the day-to-day activity within their courses. This course-centered approach helps to measure outcomes consistently even when the course changes hands. Additionally, adjunct professors can easily provide data for assessment without the need for a broader interaction or understanding of the assessment system.
The data that are supplied to the system are ultimately analyzed by the faculty during specific, periodic departmental assessment meetings. The data that have been supplied to the system are inherently grouped and organized to facilitate meaningful discussion of outcomes, even though each outcome has several measures across the curriculum. This organization is designed into the system, needing only a small clerical effort to copy course data that has been provided by the faculty.
The system has been operating for three years and has recently generated data to support a formal ABET review that has led to an accredited status. The small size of our department and limited resource demand that the system provide a wealth of data without undue labor – this has been achieved.
The ABET process has many facets that require significant effort and resource. Enderle, et al. have compiled a comprehensive review of all the necessary elements for accreditation that include eight separate criteria that must be satisfied in order to achieve an accredited status1. In this paper we focus on meeting the requirements of Criteria 3 and 8 with a quality improvement system that measures and assesses program outcomes while documenting and tracking any necessary feedback. Meeting Criterion 3 is perhaps the most challenging aspect of achieving ABET accreditation because it requires a true continuous improvement process that engages the entire undergraduate faculty2.
Schreiner, S., & Cezeaux, J., & Testa, D. (2007, June), Faculty Friendly Assessment Systems For Biomedical Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2041
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